Nursing is a growing field with many opportunities for advancement for those with the drive to succeed. The various specialties of nursing make it easy for virtually anyone to find an area that suits their interests and personality. In the field of neuroscience nursing, a nurse gets to deal one-on-one with patients who suffer from neurological damage and diseases.
Neuroscience nurses provide care for those who are suffering from all sorts of brain and nervous system disorders. This gives the nurse an opportunity to work with patients who have a variety of inherited and acquired conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, encephalitis and meningitis, as well as those who have suffered trauma, such as stroke victims and those who have had brain or spinal injuries.
This type of nursing focuses on helping patients to deal with and recover from their conditions and improve their physical, behavioral and cognitive abilities. Neuroscience nurses help deal with giving both immediate care and post-operative care. This job requires a high level of sensitivity to patients’ needs, as many of them are unable to mentally focus or function normally. Communication skills, interpersonal skills, stamina, patience and a detail-oriented mind are all required in order to succeed at neuroscience nursing.
Neuroscience nurses require the same basic training that registered nurses have. Entry level requires either an associates degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing, though certifications specifically devoted to neuroscience will ensure a better job and higher salary. The Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) credential is the most common of these. As with most nursing positions, neuroscience specialists will be required to commit to continuing education in order to keep up in this rapidly advancing field and recertification is required for him or her to continue practicing.
Working as a Neuroscience Nurse
Neuroscience nurses work in many different areas including hospitals, health care clinics, rehabilitation units and brain injury units. Regardless of where they work, their general duties are the similar. They are required to keep medical records current for their patients, administer medicine and tests, monitor their patients’ neurological activity, and plan out treatments which will help to improve the quality of their patients’ lives. Neuroscience nurses work closely with neurological doctors, assisting them in performing tests and procedures and informing them about patient conditions and progress. They also answer patient questions and assist families by providing them with information and instructions regarding their loved ones.
The average salary of a neuroscience nurse depends upon the level of education and types of certification they have. Salaries generally average at $58,000, though those with certifications average between $75-85,000. This average has remained mostly steady over the last few years. Other factors that may affect salary are the amount of experience a nurse has and the location where the nurse will be working.
The nursing field in general has increased demand and is expected to remain that way for some time. An increasingly aging population and the resulting neurological problems that accompany that will make neuroscience nursing a desirable specialty. As long as one is willing to commit to the continuing education requirements, job security within the neurological field looks very positive.
Similar Nursing Jobs
For those who wish to be involved closely with their patients but do not have an interest in neuroscience, rehabilitation nurses and psychiatric nurses perform many of the same duties that a neuroscience nurse does. Rehab nurses provide close interaction with special needs patients with an emphasis on getting them to overcome their physical limitations as opposed to neurological. Psychiatric nurses help patients to overcome the mental barriers that often accompany traumatic injuries and can be a good choice for those more interested in getting to know their patients personally. Both provide the satisfaction of knowing that one’s job is doing something to improve another person’s life and help them get back on track.